These days, brands are expected to have a presence almost everywhere on the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest are seen as just the bare minimum when brands come to thinking about their social media presences, and increasingly they’re turning to Instagram, too.
Now, Instagram’s users take photographs of pretty much everything. The weather, the commute to work, dinner, and perhaps most importantly, their favourite products. Brands want to capitalize on this; after all, Instagram users are essentially giving their goods and services free, credible exposure. So they’ve all jumped onto the service too, uploading pictures of their own which either hint at new products or show celebrities rocking old favourites. In short, trying to give the online hype machine that extra little stir.
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But so far, no-one seems to quite know how to leverage Instagram properly. How do you keep track of what people are capturing and sharing about your company? And how do you show off all those great prints which users have uploaded of their own accord? This is where Nitrogram steps in.
How it works
It starts as an analytics platform for Instagram. Anyone with an Instagram account can sign in, free of charge, to give the service a try. Once you’ve landed on the homepage, you can then add any number of accounts using the “track a new term” button on the left hand side. It could be the brand’s official account, specific employees or even celebrities who are endorsing your product.
Each account then brings up some data analysis in the centre of the website, with all the useful statistics you would expect, such as the number of photos that have been taken and the amount of people who have liked or commented on it, as well as the number of people who have been ‘reached’ through the uploads collectively.
It’s a great starting point, as you can track any Instagram account in this way – not just the ones you own. On top of this is the ability to analyse hashtags, which is set up in the exact same way as accounts and offers identical analytics. This is particularly useful for seeing what your customers are uploading about your product. In our testing we searched for #converse and found that, well, a lot of people really love multi-coloured Converse All Stars.
Nitrogram pulls in the last 3,000 photographs uploaded to Instagram on any given account or trend, which can take a little time (ten minutes for #converse, as an example) depending on the popularity of whatever you’re searching for. With the amount of data it’s pulling in though, we can let if off. All the Instagram prints can be seen below the data charts, along with how long ago they were uploaded, the user who took the photogrph and how many people have liked it.
The second key feature of Nitrogram is its ability to create custom galleries using Instagram prints. Users can head over to the ‘Photo Displays’ tab at the top, and again select either accounts or hashtags to bring up every applicable upload. Nitrogram users can then sift through the images, highlight specific ones to showcase and then customise the gallery itself as a grid or slideshow. There are presets to embed the gallery onto a Facebook page, WordPress and Tumblr blog, as well as a standard HTML code for custom built websites.
Stansilas Polu, one of the team’s founders said:
“Nitrogram provide brands with everything they need to work on Instagram instead of relying on a variety of disparate tools.
Nitrogram is the only platform that allows for web and Facebook embeds of Instagram photos with a moderation backend. Our competitors are either free with no moderation and no analytics whatsoever, or targeted precisely at photo contest. We’re much more multi purpose for brands as our widgets are highly configurable and we will also roll out an API very soon.
Additionally, we’re the only comprehensive Instagram analytics platform.”
Brands will no doubt want to use this for all sorts of marketing purposes. If you’re a manufacturer of, say, scarves, you can now quickly and easily throw a gallery onto your Facebook page, full of real Instagram users showing off your product. With Nitrogram on the back-end, it’s also pretty simple to update it on the fly.
For those involved with marketing and social media campaign, these galleries can also be used to promote competitions on Instagram, where they can then be tracked via the analaytics on Nitrogram. It’s a near-perfect combination.
Nitrogram was created in just two weeks by the team behind Teleportd, a business-to-consumer iOS app which allows users to see every photo being uploaded in a specific location. Originally called Crowd, their photo search app was picked up at Mini Seedcamp in London last year, where they were then invited back for Seedcamp Week and we noted the company as one of the startups to watch.
By pulling images from social media services such as Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare and PicPlz, Teleportd was a pretty captivating way of following a breaking news story or event. However, Polu and Gabriel Hubert, the founding team, quickly realised that most of Teleportd’s power users were professionals, who wanted to use the content for their own brand, event, or marketing purposes.
As they continued to develop Teleportd’s core technology (the team is now up to six full-time employees, based in London and Paris), Nitrogram was born as a way of helping brands specifically. From what we’ve seen, it’s a near-perfect fit for any company interested in leveraging Instagram for growth or exposure. Bravo.